Veteran of the month

VETERAN OF THE MONTH: Saunders County Veterans Service Officer Mary Pace presents Thomas Cajka of Wahoo with the Saunders County Veteran of the Month award on Sept. 17. (Staff Photo by Suzi Nelson)

WAHOO – Navy veteran Thomas Cajka of Wahoo was recognized by the Saunders County Board of Supervisors as the Saunders County Veteran of the Month for September. Cajka was nominated by Paul Eddie.

Cajka joined the Navy in August 1951 and separated August 1955. He was assigned to the USS Sperry (AS-12) based out of San Diego. The USS Sperry serviced and supplied many of the submarines recommissioned for the Korean War. In 1952 she made her only voyage to the western Pacific, sailing via Pearl Harbor, where she stayed for just over a month, and serving at Chi Chi Jima in the Bonin Island for another month before returning to the west coast at the end of October.

Cajka married Carol Kendall in 1953. Since leaving the service, Cajka has been very active with the VFW and American Legion. He has is a past post commander for the American Legion, part of the Club and Building Committee overseeing the club area, for over 20 years has been on the Funeral Detail as part of the firing squad, and has been part of the Memorial Day service for more than two decades.

The Saunders County Board of Supervisors awarded the Certificate of Appreciation for Service in the Armed Forces of the United States of America with the following text on the certificate: "The Saunders County Supervisors wish to recognize your military service to the United States of America. Throughout our nation’s history, it is the efforts of men and women such as yourself that have provided the freedoms we, as Americans, dearly enjoy today. Please accept our deepest gratitude and appreciation. Let us never forget your demonstrated sacrifice, service, love and commitment to your county. Signed by the County Board Chairperson, Doris Karloff and Veterans Service Officer, Mary Pace, dated 10 September 2019."

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